[lit-ideas] Prodigal Peeler, Tactical Socks

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2010 13:48:40 -0800

No doubt the question uppermost in your mind, of late, has been, "How is 
David's vegetable peeler doing?  The one that was rescued from the compost."

Back up a bit.  Earlier in the year we lost not just any peeler, but my 
favorite Swiss peeler: ever sharp, good fit for the hand.  Last week when I was 
doing the autumnal thing and moving all those plants that I could see were in 
the wrong spots, I dug out several wheelbarrow loads of compost.  I stooped, 
alerted by a strange blue-ness.  There was the long-lost peeler, dirty and of 
course, quite rusty.  

Would it serve?  Fear not.  I have just finished putting all the ingredients 
for a stew into my new slow cooker--fifteen bucks in Target...red as my 
Alfa...and with a ceramic interior pot--and I peeled the carrots with the 
prodigal peeler.  Worked just fine.  Maybe I should write to the Swiss and tell 
them that work endures?  They probably are aware of this.

Different subject: my Friday class is still a delight and Friday morning's 
meeting wasn't too onerous, so on Friday afternoon I was in a pretty good mood 
when I went into the registrar's office to check that all was well re. my 
seminars and registration (which begins next week).  I discovered that they 
have moved both my Monday and Wednesday 3 pm, three hour long seminars to 8 am! 
 For years I taught at eight a.m. and kept up steady pressure on the dean, 
arguing that it was only fair for others to get a turn at this plum spot.  One 
semester's relief and here I am back in the sleepy doldrums:  
"Why?" I asked.  
"It's complicated," said the registrar.  
"Can I appeal to the dean?"  
"She's in hospital with bladder cancer."
"Who is teaching at three?"
"Math on Monday..."
"And on Wednesday?"
"B. S."
This is the very same B.S. who was certified by the curriculum committee to 
teach one extension class and who now pops up everywhere.  

There was no help for it.  I walked up to Powells and bought two P.G.Wodehouse 
books.  There's an addict's behavior exemplified.  Nine dollars of retail 

Tennis yesterday was a bit odd.  As the match developed, I thought we were 
better than our opponents and yet they stayed with us.  The first set finished 
6-6.  They won the tiebreak.  I told my partner that I was getting annoyed.  
Not with her, of course, but with the number of errors I was making.  We won 
the second set 6-0.  So the woman on the other side then hie's herself off to 
the bathroom...to change her socks.  The rules say you can have a bathroom 
break between sets, and people stretch this in an emergency.  But there's 
nothing to say you can go off to change your socks when you think your 
opponents are in need of time to go off the boil.  We finally won the deciding 
tie break 13-11.

Keep calm and carry on (up the Khyber).

David Ritchie,
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